The visitation and burial service for Lee Long Jr., a 20-year-old junior at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was held this past Saturday at St. Andrew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church. On a GoFundMe page for Long’s funeral expenses, donor Camren Boudousquie describes Long, an architecture student, as “one of the most humble and and honest persons I have ever met.” Another donor, Chyna Chauvin, says simply: “Thank you for the tequila shots.” Long was shot to death at about 1:45 a.m. on Jan.
By Christian Willbern, Loyola University New Orleans
As the LSU Tigers paraded down Victory Hill on Saturday, Uptown restaurant and stores still basked in the influx of cash from Monday night’s football game. LSU’s national championship win against Clemson gave a boost to the local economy, especially to businesses that kept the drinks coming. “Keep in mind that all the Baton Rouge kids are all driving down here. We got a 50% increase in sales just on Monday alone,” said Broadway Food Store manager Kal Ghalbatar. “It was crazy.”
“Probably 80% of our customers were not regular customers.
Roux Public House and Diva Dawg join Juan’s Flying Burrito among the restaurant offerings in the 1900 block of Magazine Street, while Kakkoii Japanese Bistreaux has opened its doors on Maple Street. Roux Public House serves Cajun and Creole dishes such as BBQ shrimp or pan-fried chicken, and Diva Dawg is a new entry into the gourmet hot dog market, reports Mary-Devon Dupuy of NOLA Defender. Kakkoii offers a familiar array of Japanese sushi and entrees, “but it also makes room for offbeat numbers like fish tacos with tempura-battered whitefish and pickled cucumbers and ‘monki ribs,’ which are baby back ribs with a sweet Japanese-style barbecue glaze,” writes Ian McNulty of Gambit.
Seated on milk crates on the Adams Street sidewalk, Maple Street Patisserie owner Ziggy Cichowski and Babylon Cafe owner Alexander Sakla cheered on the arrival of large yellow Sewerage and Water Board trucks around noon Friday, even as water along the stretch was being shut off in preparation of repairs to leaks gushing in the street. “Faster, faster!” Cichowski cried out as the trucks rolled up, to laughter from a number of onlookers. A hole in a water main under Adams Street began spewing water onto it and Maple Street on Thursday afternoon, and SWB crews fixed it Friday afternoon after shutting off water to Adams for an hour or so. After the repairs, the damaged portion of Adams remained closed to traffic to allow the sodden roadbed time to dry out, workers said.
A Thai restaurant’s request for alcohol sales at its Maple Street location and a proposed fast-food restaurant in a service station on South Claiborne Avenue will return to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, after their initial trips through the city bureaucracy were derailed by the council standoff in May. The Singha Song restaurant in the 7700 block of Maple won initial approval from the City Planning Commission in March to serve alcoholic drinks with its Thai cuisine, despite some neighbors’ concerns that liquor sales would allow the building to one day repeat its history as a college bar. The owners of the Shell gas station on South Claiborne at Jackson Avenue had originally secured permission to remodel the building into two units, one for a convenience store and the other for retail purposes, according to the City Planning staff report. The actual construction created three units, however, one of which the owners then re-applied for permission to use as a fast-food restaurant. At that same March meeting, the commissioners recommended denial of the request because the owners had not complied with requirements regarding the configuration of the pumps, the parking lot and the landscaping.
The new owner of a Maple Street college bar that last year struck a bargain with the city to stay open amid allegations of underage drinking and other violations is now being praised for his efforts to make peace with his neighbors. After a police raid in 2011, the owner of TJ Quills signed a restrictive “consent judgment” with city officials that promised to help the neighborhood pay for security patrols and take strong measures to reduce noise and litter. Leaders of Maple Area Residents Inc. said the bar never subsequently followed through with them, and prior to the case returning to the city Alcohol Beverage Control board in June, they found out that the bar had just recently been sold to a new owner, Darian Blanchard. Blanchard and his attorney, Peter Title, told the board that they had only learned of the consent judgment and the required $250 monthly payment for security just a few days prior to the meeting. They were given a month to get into compliance, and during that time, wrote MARI an initial check for $500 in “seed money” to start the security detail, Title said before the board Tuesday afternoon.
A new Ethiopian restaurant has opened on Magazine Street, and a popular Bywater cafe aims to open its Maple Street location next month. Nile Ethiopian Restaurant in the Lower Garden District joins Cafe Abyssinia as the second Ethiopian restaurant on Magazine Street, and “the sound of kids giggling in the kitchen provides an unmistakable signal that this is a family-run restaurant,” writes Gambit’s Ian McNulty. Satsuma Cafe, the popular Bywater breakfast and lunch place, plans to open at the corner of Maple and Fern on Aug. 15, and Alexander Hancock of Eater NOLA speculates that dinner service may be planned as well.
An armed robbery on Maple Street on Monday night and a carjacking on Nelson about half an hour later may have been committed by the same group of men, police said. Around 10:15 p.m., a woman in the 7600 block of Maple Street was robbed of her purse at gunpoint as she tried to go to her parked car, according to investigating officers. She was attacked by as many as three men, at least one of whom had a gun, and they were in a vehicle but she didn’t get a good look at it, police said. About half an hour later, a victim unloading a silver Toyota Camry in front of a home in the 7700 block of Nelson Street was robbed, and the attackers made off with the car, police said. The two robberies may have been committed by the same men, investigating officers said.
The new owner of TJ Quills hopes to change the image of the Maple Street college bar by ending underage drinking there, and was given a month to make contact with a neighborhood group and begin paying toward nightly security patrols, based on a decision by city officials Tuesday afternoon. Darian Blanchard said he bought TJ Quills on April 1, but was never informed of the strict conditions the previous owner reached with the city to resolve allegations of underage drinking stemming from a police raid earlier last year. One of those conditions was that TJ Quills pay $250 per week — together with Rocco’s, under a similar agreement — to Maple Area Residents Inc. toward hiring a security patrol around the street, and it was this condition that the bar was accused of violating before the city Alcohol Beverage Control board in a Tuesday afternoon hearing. Blanchard’s attorney, Peter Title, told the board that he only learned of the consent agreement about a week ago, and immediately got in touch with MARI president Thomas Milliner to express a willingness to cooperate. “We just found out about this a few days ago,” Title said.
A woman parked on Maple Street just before 9 a.m. Friday was pulled from her seat by two men who then stole her vehicle, police said. The woman was in the 7300 block of Maple at 8:50 a.m., sitting her vehicle with the doors closed and the engine off, when she saw two men on foot turn on to the street from Lowerline, according to a report distributed by the Tulane University Police Department. One of the men ran over to her driver’s side door, pulled it open and then pulled her out of the vehicle onto the ground, the report states. Both men then got into the vehicle and headed up Lowerline toward South Claiborne, the report states. The woman’s assailant was described as a black man wearing a brown fur hat with a bear on the front, a white T-shirt and blue jeans.